When you think sustainability and sustainable businesses a jewelry store or jewelry designer typically isn’t the first to come to mind, but that’s changing. Many designers in the industry are doing their part to make the industry as a whole more sustainable. From using recycled gold, fair trade stones, to environmentally friendly packaging materials, designers and store owners are working towards a better, more conscious future in our industry.
In the process of recycling gold, the gold is first refined to get back to its most pure form. You may be familiar with the different karat weights of gold (10k, 14k, 18k, 22k, and 24k) and the difference in each is the amount of pure gold it contains. The lower the number, the higher the amount of alloys that are mixed in, and the less gold it contains. When you sell or trade in your gold, it is then refined back to its purest form and reused or sold. Refining the gold from pieces that you no longer wear, are broken, etc. prevents unnecessary mining of gold from the Earth and enables you to use what you already have!
Fair trade stones ensure that the mines where diamonds and gemstones are sourced are paying their workers a fair wage and providing safe working conditions. When consumers put emphasis on wanting diamonds/ gemstones that are fair trade they are showing jewelry designers, store owners, and wholesalers alike that this is a necessary aspect of the gem buying process and that working with mines that ensure fair trade stones is the future.
Going green is for everybody and luxury businesses are not excluded! Not only should we be concerned about the components that make up a piece of jewelry, but also the packaging in which it is presented. Jewelry boxes, bags, and even cleaner can be modified to use more environmentally friendly materials. Using packaging that is made from recycled materials and in environmentally safe ways is just another way designers and retail stores can continue to work towards reducing the carbon footprint made in their industry!